Like most Tuesday's I worked with the first graders. But today started differently. As I arrived all the classes were going into the all purpose room. The fifth graders were doing a musical for the holidays. We were seeing the dress rehearsal for the Thursday night performance. Most of the children in the play I had worked with 5 years ago. It was a fabulous show.
The play covered Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah. The forest animals were explaining to a young moose the history of each holiday. And it was done in song and some dance. There were light costumes: capes, bushy tails, rabbit ears on headbands, antlers, turkey beaks . . . and cardboard props: Christmas trees, Rolex watch, menorah, stockings . . . The lines were clever, songs funny and traditional, and it was good enough the young audience was listening. Fun, fun way to begin the morning.
Then back to the classroom. I worked one on one with lots of children. Most are making progress in math and in reading skills. The little boy I told you about last week again read well and worked hard for me. He got his hugs, and again a check mark was taken off. His smile is beautiful, and we don't see it often enough during work periods.
Right before I was leaving for the day, Ms. H called me up front. She presented me with a couple of cards that were made by representatives of the class. And I was given a pair of lovely earrings. She asked me to tell the class some things I do for the holidays. I told them a couple and things our family does. Then I told them how we always go San Francisco and see the kittens and puppies in the Macy's window. They liked that part.
Then I told the children how much they mean to me. I told them a friend asked me why I worked with first graders, why as a non morning person do I show up bright and early every Tuesday. And my answer is first graders hug you and there is nothing better. And just to make me more emotional, Ms. H let every child come up and give me a hug to hold me until January.
Man this was a good day.